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3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  166 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
EM Delafield is best-known as the author of The Diary of a Provincial Lady (1930). But her favourite among her books was Consequences (1919), the deeply-felt novel she wrote about the plight of girls given no opportunities apart from marriage.

Alex Clare is awkward and oversensitive and gets everything wrong; she refuses to marry the only young man who ‘offers’ and believes
Kindle Edition
Published 2011 by Girlebooks (first published January 1st 1917)
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(showing 1-30 of 524)
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Diane Barnes
Three stars seems like a lot for a book with an insipid, unintelligent woman as a main character. Alex Clare came of age in the Victorian era, which was admittedly very restricting for women, but she could never figure out how to make the right decisions for herself, or how to make herself happy. She had a morbid personality, and when, three times in her life she made an impetuous decision from which there was no turning back, it always was a disaster. But E. M. Delafield managed this novel so d ...more
Consequences is quite different in tone from the Provincial Lady books, much more somber, yet it also deals with women's constricted lives and how they deal with them. It's not a cheerful read, as Alex, the heroine, goes through much suffering, but a thoughtful and perceptive one. She's hard to like, being rather a neurotic wimp, but it's equally hard not to feel sympathy and pity for her, trapped in a society she's unsuited for. I've read reviews wishing for a more spirited heroine, but surely ...more
Linda Gillard
Mar 23, 2014 Linda Gillard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extraordinary book. I'm at a loss to know how Delafield makes such an unsympathetic young heroine so interesting and so moving. There's little to admire in the shallow & socially inadequate Alex, but the compelling quality of Delafield's writing draws the reader into her tragic story bit by painful bit, so that eventually you feel as if you're watching some catastrophe happen in slow motion. The end seems inevitable, but nonetheless appalling for that. (Imagine a Greek Tragedy crossed wit ...more
Sela Still
Jul 23, 2010 Sela Still rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written account of a young girl who is unable to fit into the conventional mould demanded by her family and social class. A prickly, difficult personality with no leavening of humour to lighten her circumstances, Alex finds her only relief in the crushes she develops on friends at school and various acquaintances. Her feelings of devotion to the Superior of a local convent lead her to enter the order but her vocation lasts only as long as the object of her devotion remains ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I found this book to be extremely depressing. I don't have a problem reading tragedies, but honestly, I just didn't feel enough sympathy for the character to make the whole thing work for me. However, I readily admit that I have a difficult time connecting with characters like that of Alex, who don't really seem to try anything to help themselves. I understand the time period and the social restrictions on women and have read extensively from that period, but my own spirit and energy being so di ...more
Feb 02, 2008 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persephone, 2007
Another splendid reprint by Persephone. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, despite wanting to beat the protagonist repeatedly with a blunt object. The author implies that Alex is the way she is because of the way she was raised. However, her two sisters turned out all right. She is, quite simply, a moron (although that may be my 21st century take on things). She is incapable of doing anything right, has zero confidence (entirely understandable) and basically needs to be taken by the hand. I had li ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Mirte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am still numb after just having finished this novel.
Though contemporary reviews might be right in their assertion that Alex Clare's ill fate is exaggerated - everything must always go wrong with her - the hurt and pain laced through Alex's life story does not feel less real for it. Because Nicola Beauman is also right in her introduction: everyone recognises a bit of Alex in themselves, be it small or large, or knows someone rather much like Alex.

Consequences delivers thinly-veiled criticism
Wow, this was a really difficult book to read, but ultimately I'm glad I stuck with it, because it made me think. I did not like all of the thoughts it brought up and some of the descriptions reminded me of my baser thoughts and instincts which is never fun to look at.
The author did not like Alex at all and many times used the word weak to describe her. It was very hard.
to read a book where the author spends most of it condemning the protagonist .
The book was written in 1917 and takes place fro
I just finished Consequences by E.M Delafield, better known for Diary of a Provincial Lady and have been thinking about it ever since. It is a strongly autobiographical novel. E.M. Delafield also was raised in a respectable although not as wealth as they appeared family at the end of the Victorian age. She was brought out into society, expected to find a husband and make a good match, and failed to live up to expectations. Like her main character, Alex, she also entered a convent for a time and ...more
Linda K
Jul 02, 2012 Linda K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabriele Wills
Delafield expertly weaves a tragic tale of a Victorian girl who can't find a place in her prohibitive and prescriptive world. But Alex Clare is more than an individual seeking love and acceptance who is failed by her family, society, and even her church. She is symbolic of the women of that era, who had no power over their lives, no choices except in which man would be the least difficult to endure as a husband. Delafield is scathing in her depiction of a world ripe for social change, even uphea ...more
Aug 20, 2009 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consequences is the story of Alex Clare who we meet as a young girl learning to play a game of the same name. Alex learns to play the game quickly and wants to show her siblings her way of playing. While we see that she quickly gets the childhood game, she remains perplexed about the life of grown-ups and what she later sees as a mockery of personal closeness for which she desires. The inability or refusal to play this game of navigating through society is of course inexcusable (particularly for ...more
Dec 17, 2012 Rosemary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persephone
The story of Alexandra Clare who is sensitive, eager to please and has overwhelming passions for other girls and women - therefore doesn't fit in to late Victorian society in at all the way that her parents expect. Unfortunately, she keeps trying, and makes some bad mistakes.

It's a tragic book, not at all like Diary Of A Provincial Lady, and I found it very moving. Alex tries desperately to conform but the more desperate she becomes, the less everybody likes her. Her dilemma is that she can't b
Jack Bates
Jan 02, 2016 Jack Bates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depressing but very telling book about life for young middle class women in the early years of the 20th century. If you want to feel grateful for the many ways your life is different to that of your grandmother or great-grandmother this will probably help.
Feb 06, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, persephone
In this 1919 novel, young Alexandra Clare wants to be a round peg who fits into upper middle class life in Edwardian England. Somehow, she never can. And, Alex’s options are limited; she and her sisters are expected to be introduced to society and then marry. She has no education or support to do anything else. An introvert who has difficulty expressing her feelings, Alex wants so much to be liked that she drives people away. Consequences made this modern reader feel claustrophobic, which is pro ...more
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Melinda Nelsen
Jul 27, 2009 Melinda Nelsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE the books from Persephone books. This one was no exception. Another turn-of-the century tale about society and social roles, particulary of women. To quote the Persephone site about this book: "a scream of horror against Victorian values; however, its ironic tone cannot disguise EM Delafield's deeply compassionate and feminist stance. The book has provoked strong reactions from our readers. Some have found Alex's naivety implausible, others have been very much mo ...more
Jim M
Dec 17, 2014 Jim M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dram-rom-clas
A woman refuses her only marriage proposal as she feels she would be better off as a nun.
Aug 29, 2014 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this very uncomfortable to read. Did not like the central character at all.
Nov 26, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poor little Alex Clare, a story of a thwarted life where Alex never really fitted in.
Branded as the black sheep of the family.
She breaks off her engagement to an eligable man as she couldn't bear the thought of being married to him.
She then turned to God and became a Nun but failed to find her place and ends by giving up her vows!
She returns an outcast who just didn't fit in and had no place in society.
She had failed in life which she took by drowning herself.
I did so feel for Alex and found thi
La Parker
A miserable book, well written but wretched
Such a sad story. But well-written and engaging.
Helen Stanton
Apr 13, 2013 Helen Stanton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book and have been think inning about it before writing a review. I had read Diaries of a Provincial Lady before which are hilarious ..... This is a v different proposition . In part it is based on the authors own experience of being raised in a strict late Victorian home .....but luckily for E M Deldafield WW1 came along , shaking up women's lives forever. It really made me think of the sexual revolution , which we tend to think happened in the 60s...but most of all Alex's story is ...more
Oct 13, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Meaghan, maybe.
Shelves: audio, 1910s
A sleeping classic, beautifully written, exploring a kind of life and personality that is rarely seen in fiction. Defiant of any genre conventions, and not especially cheerful -- although not as sad as it might be. Impassive yet humane.
Sarah Artt

A devastating tragic novel by an author better known for her comic works. Thankfully the glorious people at Persephone Books have re-published this. An acutely observed character study of a woman trapped by her upbringing and religion.
Mar 29, 2010 Willa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant account of the conundrum of Victorian women - but strangely relevant in our times! (how disconcerting is that...)
Carol Eshaghy
Jun 08, 2011 Carol Eshaghy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Persephone books, but they are so darn sad. Has anyone else read this one? Would be good for a book club.
Apr 21, 2011 Elizabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persephone
This is a truly miserable story, but still a rewarding read.
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Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (9 June 1890 – 2 December 1943), commonly known as E. M. Delafield, was a prolific English author who is best-known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady, which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s, and its sequels in which the Provincial La ...more
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“...Alex found herself reading of emotions and experiences of which her own seemed so feeble a mockery, that she was conscious of a physical pang of sick disappointment.
Was all fiction utterly untrue to life? Or was hers the counterfeit, which the printed pages but reproduced something of a reality which was denied to her?”
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